The Andersen family and their community recently raised over $8,500 for O.U.R. by collecting spare change! Friends and family banded together by bringing change jars to work, having lemonade stands, and adding any dollar bills in that they could contribute. Brooke Andersen shared her experience with us and how they came up with idea.
“We had no idea how rampant child sex trafficking was until Spring of 2017. When we did, it broke our hearts. We knew we had to do something, but these precious children were hidden from us, and we had no idea how to help. We did a search to find an organization that DID know how, and we found O.U.R. It was meant to be! We were preparing to make a one-time donation when we had a thought—Why not involve our family and friends in raising money for them too?
Lots of people would like to help, but money is always so tight these days—how could we do this without asking for immediate donations? That’s how our campaign “Cookies and Spare Change” was born. We put out a request on Facebook to anyone who would want to help these children, and would commit to saving their spare change from that Spring until Thanksgiving Day, 2017. We would bring them homemade cookies (to say thank you), and we would give them their spare change jars for saving. In this way, people had something special done for them with the cookies, and they were ready and excited to save their spare change for O.U.R.! Saving spare change was an easy way to save money without even noticing any funds being set aside. Spare change jars always add up quickly and seem to be worth more than you’d think!
Then, it was just a waiting game. The months rolled along, and everyone’s jars filled up. It’s amazing how 7 or so months of coin saving can really add up! Some children sold treats in front of their home to raise money, others took their jars to work, and some didn’t do spare change so they made a straight one-time donation; most just plugged away like champions at saving their change every day—even putting a dollar bill in their jar from time to time! Every person involved was a hero as they saved, and it was so fun for everyone to know they were working with others to make a big donation they could never do on their own!
It all added up, and by the time we reached the end, we had raised over $8,590.51. Individual donations and jar amounts ranged all over the place, and each one was precious to us. We are so thankful to each person who donated, and to the O.U.R. organization where we know these funds will be used in the best way possible.
**Sidenote: When it was donation time, we did not collect everyone’s cookies and spare change jars. We made the process much easier on everyone! We asked that they count up their change (so they knew how much they had saved), and put the money into their own bank account. Then, they would go to our O.U.R. campaign donation site, and make a donation with their credit card. This way they had an immediate tax donation receipt, and the extra money they had put in their account was saved ‘painlessly.’”
This is a great and simple way to get everyone involved in the fight against trafficking. The power of this one community will help save children all over the world and support them in their healing process. We are grateful for everyone involved, and for the Andersen family for coming up with a creative way to unify their community.
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